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Seattle Shakespeare adds performances and expands season

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Seattle Shakespeare’s production of “King Lear” now will run through May 17 with four additional performances at the Cornish Playhouse at the Seattle Center. The company then will move outdoors in July for their annual Wooden O performances of free plays in the park.

“So many of our shows this season have been bursting at the seams,” said Managing Director John Bradshaw about the decision to extend the run of final indoor show of the season. “Both ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ and ‘Richard II’ far exceeded our expectations, and we had a wait list for every performance of our sold-out run of ‘The Importance of Being Earnest.’“

Next season, Seattle Shakespeare Company expands to a five-play indoor season that includes Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot” and Moliere’s “Tartuffe” as well as the Shakespeare plays “Twelfth Night,” “Measure for Measure,” and “Othello.”

“Many of the projects in this coming year have been in the works for several years,” said Artistic Director George Mount. “It was really a matter of timing and getting the right pieces in place. For the indoor season, the plays coalesce around the theme of ‘Lead Us Into Temptation’ since desire, both playful and sinister, are a factor in each show.”

The free, outdoor Wooden O shows for summer 2014 will be “The Two Gentlemen of Verona” directed by David Quicksall and “Julius Caesar” directed by Vanessa Miller.

“Both David and Vanessa are Wooden O veterans, and they know the demands it takes to create a great experience in the parks,” said Mount.

“The Two Gentlemen of Verona” will draw its setting from mid-century America while “Julius Caesar” will feature an all-female cast set in a contemporary world on the brink of war. The shows will start free performances on July 10, and perform in parks at Mercer Island, Sammamish, Seattle, Lynnwood, Edmonds, SeaTac, Issaquah, Shoreline and other cities. Each show will finish their run with a week of performances in Walla Walla.

“We’ve been stretching ourselves in several ways this season,” added Mount about the extension of “King Lear” and recent sold-out performances. “The enthusiasm and demand for Seattle Shakespeare Company’s work just seems to be growing each year.”

“King Lear” opens April 25. Tickets and information about Seattle Shakespeare’s upcoming shows are available online at www.seattleshakespeare.org.

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